Deep Water Culture (DWC)

Last Updated: August 13, 2018

Definition - What does Deep Water Culture (DWC) mean?

Deep water culture (DWC) is a form of hydroponic gardening. It involves suspending the cannabis plant so that its roots dangle into the water. It is a soilless form of growing. A medium such as clay pebbles or rockwool is used to hold the plant above the nutrient-rich water.

In its simplest form, DWC involves suspending a plant in a five-gallon bucket using rockwool as a support. The roots of the plant then hang down into the nutrient-rich water. Dutch buckets are typically used with DWC growing methods.

MaximumYield explains Deep Water Culture (DWC)

The term deep water culture evolved because the plant’s roots are submerged in a tub of deep water. DWC involves making sure the water is aerated and is also nutrient rich for the plant’s root system. The oxygen and nutrient-rich water surrounding the plant’s root system is believed to be the key factor that makes cannabis plants grow larger when grown using the DWC method.

Cannabis plants appear to grow much more rapidly during the vegetative stage when grown with DWC. The roots of the plant do not need to burrow through soil and stretch out to reach nutrient and oxygen like they do in the soil, so the plant does not expend unnecessary energy and can instead grow ample top growth.

In a DWC system, many plants can be grown at a time, as the buckets are connected together via piping, and the nutrients are fed in from a main reservoir. The system is expandable to the space.

In addition to DWC hydroponic systems, there are ebb and flow, drip, wick, nutrient film technique, aeroponics, and aquaponics, all of which are hydroponic (soilless) systems suitable for indoor grow rooms.

This definition was written in the context of Cannabis
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